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Wednesday, March 27, 2024
Green Appoints Dozens to Powerful State Boards
By News Release @ 5:22 PM :: 2538 Views :: Education K-12, Hawaii State Government, Higher Education, Land Use


News release from Office of the Governor, March 26, 2024

HONOLULU  ̶  Governor Josh Green, M.D., has named several community and business leaders to a number of important state boards and commissions. “Our administration has been working extremely hard on moving our state forward on affordable housing, education, energy, and protecting our cultural resources,” said Governor Green. “We are proud to appoint a wide breadth of leaders with diverse backgrounds of experience to take leadership positions to guide our state on these important issues. We value their contributions and appreciate their willingness to serve the people of Hawaiʻi.”


Governor Green is proud to appoint several individuals with deep educational backgrounds and experience to the three state boards that oversee educational policies at all levels – from early education, through K-12, and higher education: the Hawai‘i State Board of Education (BOE), the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) Board of Regents (BOR), and the Early Learning Board (ELB).


The six appointees to the BOE are as follows:

Reappointment of Ken Kuraya (member, at large)
Reappointment of William “Bill” Arakaki (member, Kaua‘i County)
Appointment of Mary Hattori, Ed.D. (member, City and County of Honolulu)

Hattori will succeed member Lauren Moriarty whose term ends June 30, 2024.

Appointment of Elynne Chung (member, City and County of Honolulu)

Chung will succeed member Shanty Asher whose term ended June 30, 2023, but continued to serve in a holdover capacity.

Appointment of Wesley Lo (member, at large)

Lo will succeed former chair Bruce Voss who resigned in June 2023.

Governor Green has appointed Roy Takumi as chair of the BOE, to succeed Warren Haruki, who recently submitted his resignation for personal reasons. Takumi will become the chair if and when he is confirmed by the state Senate.

During his tenure as chair, Haruki pursued exceptional teamwork between BOE members and staff, and DOE Superintendent Keith Hayashi and the broader department. The collaboration generated tremendous results through working inclusively and respectfully. Haruki also played a key role in the rapid building of the temporary campus for the King Kamehameha III elementary school after the Lahaina wildfires.

Hawaiʻi students made gains in the post-pandemic years, leading the nation in many key metrics and comparisons. Another significant set of challenges was presented by the Maui wildfires and that recovery for our students is progressing. The board developed a holistic strategy to address thousands of construction, repair and maintenance projects as well as deferred maintenance for Hawai‘i Department of Education (DOE) facilities.

Roy Takumi was chair of the House Committee of Education from 2002-2017 and championed early childhood education and the Reinventing Education Act of 2004 (Act 51), the seminal legislation that established key K-12 education infrastructure including the weighted student formula, school-based budgeting and the School Community Council structure. Takumi served as a state legislator from 1993 until 2022. Takumi’s professional experience includes working as a program director of American Friends Service Committee, an English as a Second Language teacher, a communications specialist with the Hawaiʻi State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. Takumi earned his Bachelor of Arts in education from Long Island University and his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Hawaiʻi.

Elynne Chung is a retired educator who had more than 40 years of service with the DOE including 20 as an administrator. Chung served as long-time principal of Mililani Middle School (2010-2022). When Chung was principal, Mililani Middle served more than 1,500 students. The Hawaiʻi Association of Secondary School Administrators recognized Chung as 2015 Principal of the Year for improving academic achievement at the school. Chung is a Roosevelt High School graduate. She earned her bachelor’s in Elementary Education and master’s in Educational Administration from UH Mānoa.

Mary Therese Perez Hattori is a native Chamoru of Guåhan (Guam), who received her Masters in Education and Doctorate of Education from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa,  She is the Director of the Pacific Islands Development Program at the East West Center. She is a community organizer and advocate for Pacific Islanders in Hawaiʻi, co-organizer of cultural, and teacher/mentor of students in Pacific Studies. Dr. Hattori is also an author, poet, public speaker, and philanthropist.

Wesley Lo is the CEO for ʻOhana Pacific Health, a statewide network of post-acute care facilities for kūpuna, and for Hale Makua Health Services, providing a range of services (e.g., adult day health, rehab, care homes, home health) for Maui’s kūpuna. Based on Maui, Lo’s experience includes Maui Memorial Medical Center CEO (where he transitioned Maui County hospitals from Hawaiʻi Health Care Systems to Kaiser Permanente), Maui County Finance Director, and Bank of Hawaiʻi. Lo previously served on the Board of Education as Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chair from 2011-2013.

William “Bill” Arakaki is a retired educator who served the DOE for 40 years. He began as the Special Motivation teacher at Waipahu High School in September of 1980 then moved to Kauaʻi to teach at Kauaʻi High and Intermediate School in 1988. Board Member Arakaki served as an administrator on Kauaʻi—including Principal of Waimea High School and Kauaʻi Complex Area Superintendent–until his retirement in 2020. 

Ken Kuraya is currently serving as an at-large member of the BOE. He was appointed to complete the remainder of Catherine Payne’s term when she resigned in 2022. Kuraya is an educator who served for 40 years in various roles within the DOE from the classroom to the administration. Kuraya retired from the DOE as Budget Director. Kuraya earned a Bachelor of Arts in Western History and Eastern Political Science from Hawaiʻi Pacific University and received a Secondary School Teacher Certificate and School Administrator Certification from the University of Hawaiʻi.


Governor Green has appointed Michael Miyahira to the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) Board of Regents (BOR), Hawaiʻi County member. He is the owner of Business Strategies, a company that provides consulting services to family owned and closely held businesses and focuses on succession planning, family business governance issues and strategic planning.

Prior to 2000, Miyahira spent more than 24 years with one of Hawaiʻi’s largest commercial banks and spent the bulk of his banking career as a senior credit officer and manager of several of the bank’s business. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaiʻi, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, the Hawaiʻi Island Chamber of Commerce, the Island of Hawaiʻi YMCA, and the National Client Protection Organization.

If confirmed, Miyahira would be seated immediately as the holdover member, succeeding Alapaki Nahale-a who resigned from the UH BOR earlier this month. The term is set to expire June 30, 2028.


Working closely with Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke on her signature early education issue, Governor Green has appointed the following nine leaders to the Early Learning Board:

County of Hawai‘i – Joni Onishi (term to expire June 30, 2028).
County of Maui – Elaine Yamashita (term to expire June 30, 2028).
County of Kauaʻi – Alanna Bauman (term to expire June 30, 2028)
City and County of Honolulu – Stephanie Shipton (term to expire June 30, 2027).
City and County of Honolulu – Dr. Lindsey Heathcock (term to expire June 30, 2027).
City and County of Honolulu – Erica Mau-Schank (term to expire June 30, 2026).
At-Large – Dr. Sulma Gandhi (term to expire June 30, 2027).
At-Large – Kau‘i Burgess (term to expire June 30, 2027).
At-Large – Cheryl Cudiamat (term to expire June 30, 2027).


Governor Green took input from a wide range of stakeholders and community leaders to find appointees for boards that deal with some of our state’s most precious natural resources – water, land and Mauna Kea.


Governor Green recently received a list of names from the nominating committee established under statute. Governor Green sincerely appreciates and respects all of the people who were nominated for his consideration. However, no decision on an appointment for this critical position has been made at this time. Governor Green continues to seek input from more community leaders.   .


Governor Green has appointed Bruce U‘u, Ken Hayashida (O‘ahu member) and Myles Miyasato (At-Large member) to the Land Use Commission:

Bruce U‘u is a proud Native Hawaiian and generational descendant of Maui. He was an instructor at the University of Hawai‘i, Maui College (UHMC) fostering the next generation of skilled carpenters in the state. He has served as the vice-chair of the Maui Planning Commission, a member of the Cultural Resource Commission, chair of both the Maui Liquor Adjudication Board and Maui Liquor Commission, and the UHMC Advisory Board.

Ken Hayashida has been an active contributor to the engineering community in Hawai‘i for many years. He received his civil engineering degree at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and his master’s at Stanford University. He has served as the chair of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi and as a member of the City and County of Honolulu Planning Commission. His term would expire June 30, 2028.

Myles Miyasato grew up on Oʻahu, relocated to Maui to work and later moved to Hawaiʻi Island where he has lived for the last 24 years. He was employed for 17 years with the Hawaiʻi Operating Engineers Stabilization Fund where he retired as  the executive director and worked several years as a heavy equipment operator and foreman. His term would expire June 30, 2028.


Established in 2022, the Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority (Authority) will assume governance and management responsibility over Mauna Kea after a five-year transition period,

Governor Green has appointed four members as follows:

Reappointment of Joshua Lanakilaoka‘aina Mangauil, as a recognized practitioner of native Hawaiian traditional and customary practices associated with Mauna Kea.
Reappointment of Gary Kalehua Sherwood Krug Jr., as an individual who is recognized as possessing expertise in the fields of P-12 education public education or post-secondary education.
Reappointment of Pomaikalani Bertelmann, as an individual who is a lineal descendent of a practitioner of Native Hawaiian traditional and customary practices associated with Mauna Kea.
Appointment of Neil Jacob Kahoʻokele Hannahs, as an individual with ʻāina resource management expertise and specific experience with Hawaiʻi island-based management to succeed Kamanamaikalani Beamer, who has decided to step down from the Authority at the end of his term on June 30, 2024.

If confirmed, these members will all have terms that expire on June 30, 2028.


Governor Green has reappointed Colin Yost, who has served on the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) since November 1, 2022. Before his appointment to the PUC, Yost was an owner of Oʻahu-based renewable energy company RevoluSun, was the founder of the law firm of Cruise & Yost, and also worked as an attorney for the Honolulu firm of Paul Johnson Park & Niles.



HCDA was created to establish community development plans in community development districts; determine community development programs; and cooperate with private enterprise and the various components of federal, state, and county governments to bring community development plans to fruition. There are regional boards for these districts, and Governor Green has appointed the following:

For Kakaʻako District – Michael China

For Kalaeloa District – Mikiala Lidstone

For Pulehunui District – Fiona van Ammers and Glenn H. Yamasaki


HHFDC is the primary agency charged with overseeing affordable housing finance and development in Hawaiʻi. HHFDC works with the state’s residents, housing developers and financiers to make housing dreams come true. Governor Green has appointed the following:

Reappointment of Carol Reimann (Maui County, public member), whose term ends on June 30, 2028.

Reappointment of Sean Sasaki (City and County of Honolulu, public member), whose term ends on June 30, 2028.


Governor Green has appointed the following to serve on the HPHA:

Reappointment of Susan Kunz (County of Hawaiʻi member), whose term ended on June 30, 2023 and is currently serving in a holdover capacity.
Reappointment of George DeMello (Public Housing member), whose term ends on June 30, 2024.


Governor Green has appointed Nathaniel Oswald as the Maui Member on the Board of Agriculture.


Governor Green received a list of names from the nominating committee established under statute. After interviewing the candidates, he has decided to appoint Linda Rich and Jennifer Merkle to the Hawaiʻi Paroling Authority.


Governor Green has appointed Clark Hirota to the Hawai‘i Labor Relations Board.


Governor Green has appointed Harry Yee to the Hawaiʻi Labor Appeals Board.


Governor Green has appointed James Tam and Miles Kawamura as public members on the Electricians and Plumbers Licensing Board.

Finally, Governor Green would like to recognize and thank Office of Information Practices (OIP) Director Cheryl Kakazu Park for her 13 years of service leading the office through three different administrations. Park has decided to retire from her post after several recognitions and accomplishments at the end of March 2024. Governor Green has appointed staff attorney Carlotta Amerino to serve as acting director.

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CB: Hawaii Governor Appoints Dozens To Powerful Hawaii Boards And Commissions


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